I had always been a sound sleeper. Until I went for a career change some two years ago switching from teaching English as a second language to advertising. This is not to sat that working for one business or another makes a difference to how well or badly you sleep. It would be hard to prove this kind of correlations. What I am trying to say is essentially something else.

Let's start from the beginning. Teaching came naturally to me and since I was working with good-natured and highly motivated immigrants, it gave me a lot of satisfaction. I had the right qualifications and as a communicative person I found spending time basically talking to others a pleasure. After five years in the industry I settled in my routine, honed my methods sharp and was more or less going on autopilot. In a good sort of way.

Then I started drifting away. I had friends bringing up the fact that I was doing little more than watching the clock in the classroom while having a clear potential for more. Many of them had successful careers of their own, in finance, law or marketing, coming from exactly the same background as me and actually never really aiming very high. I began to think I was wasting my time teaching people.

I gradually came to the conclusion that there was nothing more for me to achieve as a teacher and from one day to another I handed in my resignation. I was at least as surprised by what I was doing as my students, colleagues and supervisors.

Sleepless night did not start just yet, but I was getting much more adrenaline as I strove to change course. This naturally interfered with my daily routines and I was suddenly able and willing to work well into the night just to get things done for next day and meet my and other people's expectations.

But it is not necessarily that that gave birth to my sleep problems. The truth is that we all need an injection of new energy every now and then, so there was nothing unusual about the changes I had introduced.

The real reason for my growing sleeplessness was the fatal misalignment of my professional ambitions with what I really like doing. Advertising may be a high-powered, high-salary industry compared to education, but it does miss some crucial ingredients that made me tick as a teacher. I withered under pressure of time and results as an accounts manager having less and less satisfaction from what I was doing. I pursued feeling I should get going. I should show others and myself I can change my career. The quality of sleep got terribly hurt as a result.

I reverted in the end. Coming back to teaching was not as much joy as I expected. I needed as much time as ever to settle back in the tracks and enjoy what I was doing again. Better sleep came not much later.

Author's Bio: 

Ted Pass writes about sleep health, including such factors as stress or getting queen size bed dimensions right.